Sweet Sixteen Tempo-Free Stats

Friday Night:


Thursday Night:



Sweet 16 Preview: Pace and Efficiency

The tempo of the games has been a major factor in the number of upsets during the 2013 NCAA tournament . In the Round of 64, the extra-slow vegas favorites tended to lose. In the Round of 32, many of the favored teams had to adjust to the tempo of their foes, with mixed results.

Indiana’s struggles in low-possession games are well publicized. The Hoosiers played one of their slowest games of the season against Temple in the third round on Sunday. This was dictated by the Owls’ half-court offense and their ability to negate Indiana’s transition offense. It produced a tight game that was ultimately decided by a Victor Oladipo three-pointer.

The charts below show performance at slow, medium and fast pace for each matchup in the Sweet Sixteen. This data is from box scores of every game each team played this season. In order to determine performance, the opponents’ points per possession is subtracted from offensive points per possession at each tempo level. The result is the PPP +/-.

The data show that Indiana’s struggles at a slow pace are eerily similar to their Sweet Sixteen foe in Syracuse. This one should stay close no matter the pace.

In most of these games, the difference in performance between the teams is minimal at each level. However, in the cases of Michigan/Kansas and Michigan State/Duke, the tempos could be a major factor in deciding who wins and loses.

Vertical lines = projected tempo of the game. (Team 1’s 2013 adjusted tempo * Team 2’s 2013 adjusted tempo)/2013 Div. I tempo.

2013 Sweet Sixteen Pace

Slow Teams in the 2013 NCAA Tournament

Today has been a nightmare for the favored teams who play at a slow pace. The chart below contains the 32 teams who were favored in their second (first) round games in the 2013 NCAA tournament, sorted by slowest to fastest, with results:

Favorites Tempo Rank
(Slowest to Fastest)
Pittsburgh 337 Loss
Notre Dame 319 Loss
Georgetown 315 Loss
Wisconsin 309 Loss
Florida 298 Win
Kansas State 295 Loss
Minnesota 288 Win
Miami 281 Win
Michigan State 252 Win
Ohio State 246 Win
Gonzaga 233 Win
Butler 232 Win
Syracuse 228 Win
Marquette 226 Win
New Mexico 220 Loss
Michigan 219 Win
Creighton 214 Win
St. Louis 211 Win
Colorado State 206 Win
Illinois 172 Win
Arizona 130 Win
San Diego State 125 Win
Louisville 112 Win
Oklahoma State 97 Loss
Kansas 91 Win
Indiana 86 Win
Duke 83 Win
NC State 75 Loss
VCU 70 Win
UNLV 50 Loss
Memphis 30 Win
North Carolina 17 Win